It had been FOUR years since I left Europe and I was pining to go back. And the wish came true and I recently went on a ten day trip to Germany (Yay!). My best friend and soul sister K (from Bolivia) was getting married to B (from Germany) and I was the Maid of Honor (Yay Yay!).
When we were both living in Barcelona, we were once having a crazy conversation on love and life and all other profound topics and she had jokingly told me that I will be her maid of honor when she gets married. That conversation was long forgotten until she asked me recently. K and I are very close and have managed to stay in touch all these years. But I had never imagined she would ask me to be her maid of honor and be by her side on her important day. It was one of the sweetest gestures ever and I love her for that.
I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to be a part of her big day. Initial plan had more people in it but lot of confusions and disappointments ensued, and in the end it turned out to be just me. Thus began my solo trip after a really long time. I started planning and booked the tickets and got my visa. The final itinerary was still vague as I was still deciding between going to Prague or just covering Germany. I decided on the latter and tried to cover as much as I could of Germany in ten days. Going to Europe felt like going home (Barcelona would have felt more of home but Berlin didn’t disappoint in any way). I didn’t find it strange or scary, it just felt so good to be back there. The mundane routine here had not given me chance to travel alone or travel far and traveling there all by myself started to feel so empowering and amazing. I had given myself five days in Berlin to attend the wedding before I headed to my solo trip (which I hopefully will be writing about in Part 2). The Wedding was so far the most fun wedding I have ever attended. K’s husband B is such an amazing and warm person that I found an instant liking to him. They make a beautiful couple and there was so much Louuve in the air.
Two days before the wedding was K’s first bachelorette party. It was organized by all her female friends and colleagues. We started off at a Mexican place for some cocktails and finger food. Knowing K, her friends had planned a classy and fun party. Her friends had got 24 roses and had given it to various people in the restaurant before K arrived. So all through the evening, people kept coming and giving roses to her and it was such a nice start to the party. Later we went to a very fancy club for dancing and I realized how much I had missed dancing. I had an awesome time and K was made to do lot of crazy stuff like getting numbers from men and such. But the jet-lag caught up with me soon and after three hours of dancing I spent the rest of the night lounging out on the VIP couch (Oh yes, we were bumped up to VIP lounge).
One day before the wedding, we headed off to the wedding hall to decorate it ourselves. I really liked the simplicity of the whole wedding plan. It was personal and customized and the people who were getting married were involved in all of it. K and B had this Space theme in mind(they are both Aerospace engineers) and decorated the hall with fairy lights and lamps and rockets and astronaut figurines and we had a ball decorating the place. That night was her second bachelorette party, this time thrown by her male friends at work. Her office friends are a witty and hilarious bunch and I had more fun in this party than the first one. We went to play a game called ‘Escape the room’ where we were divided in groups and locked up and we had to solve puzzles to get out. I loved the game ; it was challenging, it was hard and it was a great way to get to know all the new people. The next stop was a fairy-tale bar which was very bizarre. It looked like the set of Alice in Wonderland and had waitresses dressed in a skirt made of playing cards and drinks with vibrant colors. We soon called it a night and got the bride home before dawn so she could catch some sleep (she would have partied all night!).
And now we come to the big day! I must stop here to tell you that K is the calmest bride I have ever seen. She wasn’t tensed or frazzled or worried about arrangements going wrong. I pretty much did not have any work as her maid of honor (and here I was, prepared with speeches if she got cold feet :P) She was calm and composed and didn’t really care about everything being perfect. It was a day to celebrate her love and she just wanted to have a happy time. And that’s what all of us did. We all got ready by afternoon and headed off to the registrar office. B had rented a Tesla for the bride (Awww). We got to the office and both of them and the maid of honor and the best man were made to sit together in an elegant room. The ceremony was simple and quick and took place in both German and Spanish. The woman performing the ceremony said some wise words on the lines that it is easy to stay together during happy times but that they have to vow to be with each other when things get hard. I felt the speech she gave was extremely practical and logical (with how much ever Spanish I could grasp). Both of them didn’t get scared of the speech and agreed to get married and they were declared married (:)). The best man and I were the witnesses and we had to give our ID and sign the document.
And that was it, they were married and there were some happy tears and smiles and so much happiness all around. We did a lot of photo-shoot in the nearby park and later ended up at the reception hall. The hall looked so pretty with all our decorations. There were some fun events : small stage with props to take goofy pics; B’s brother had created a hilarious video on B; a lottery game where you won small gifts; B’s friend had placed 36 postcards and asked the audience to take one and send it to the new couple, one every week for a whole year. The rest of the night (till 4 am!) was filled with conversations and eating and drinking (open bar) and lots and lots of dancing. I danced like there was no tomorrow. The room was mostly filled with strangers for me but it was so easy to converse and dance and have fun. I had a blast. I even danced to Bollywood songs (thanks to the countless glasses of champagne). The party finally slowed down at dawn and I came home and slept through the next day.
And I left for my solo trip after the wedding.
To be continued..
PS: The only ritual I saw in the whole wedding process was a Plate breaking ritual. We were given some ceramic plates to break. And the bride and the groom were given brooms to clean it up together. The analogy was that things might get messy sometimes and anger might rule and things might break, but the couple should always stand together and clear up the mess and make it work. I am not a ritual person, but this one had to be liked!